Manchester United could be in line for a shock capture of Barcelona mega star, Lionel Messi. According to the Metro, the mammoth deal worth over £200m is expected to be facilitated by German kit manufacturers, Adidas.
The Red Devils will however face competition for the forward’s signature from runaway league leaders, Chelsea. While a few seasons ago such rumours would have been dismissed as the fiction of the febrile imagination of a still-recovering convulsion patient, the aura of incredulity around such a once unthinkable idea has unraveled with unnerving insidiousness.
First, the departure of club legend and record-setting coach, Pep Guardiola on a supposed sabbatical was the beginning of a domino effect which snowballed into a series of separate and unrelated events that threw the club into turmoil, thereby unsettling the Argentine captain.
Soon after, Tito Vilanova, who took over from Guardiola lost his battle with cancer. More troubles followed as Messi had to face court charges for tax evasion.
The Neymar fiasco followed and although the club was cleared of wrongdoing, it was euthanasia administered as a placebo. Due to the stench that emanated from the Neymar saga, Sandro Rossell had to step down as club president.
Niggling injuries dogged his steps and more woe was to befall his club as Barcelona were banned from purchasing players for 2 seasons by UEFA after they were found guilty of employing underhand methods in their purchase of underage players.
The latest in a long litany of afflictions that has unsettled the Rosario-born native is his reported bust-up with his current coach, Luis Enrique. All these contributed in no small way in causing Messi to re-evaluate his options.
At 27, he is at peak condition and still nurses a huge appetite to win more honours. His hunger for success is also fueled by his endless rivalry with Real Madrid legend, Cristiano Ronaldo.
For him to keep pace with the Portuguese wizard he will need a stable club environment free from the distracting influence of power-hungry politicians.
Can Messi move to Manchester United? It is very possible and plausible. Despite the Argentine’s brilliance, many still argue that Cristiano Ronaldo is the better player as he has featured in the notoriously difficult English Premier league and even ruled the roost unlike Messi who has spent the entirety of his career so far in the Spanish La Liga.
And what better place to prove his doubters wrong than the Theatre Of Dreams, that hallowed turf where Ronaldo earned the adulation of an adoring fanbase?
Another plausible reason why the Barcelona ace may join the Red Devils is because from next season, Adidas would start kitting Manchester United as part of the £750m shirt sponsorship deal signed in 2014. Adidas also doubles as Messi’s sponsors and they are quite keen to bring together both entities whom they view more as commercial interests devoid of sentiments.
Manchester United possess the lure, tradition and platform for Messi to thrive and it will take some loyalty for him not to swap the Blaugrana jersey for the famous Red shirt of Manchester United.